The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is the agency responsible for implementing the Agricultural Water Quality Management Program and state laws regarding agricultural nonpoint source pollution.
In Oregon, Agricultural Water Quality Management Area Plans and Agricultural Water Quality Management Area Rules are intended to be the implementation measures for nonpoint sources with respect to agriculture. The Agricultural Water Quality Management Act (ORS 568.900 to 568.933) authorizes the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) to develop Agricultural Water Quality Management Area Plans and rules throughout the state. The statute authorizes the development of area rules to serve as a regulatory backstop to the voluntary efforts described in the area plans. ORS 561.191 states that ODA shall develop and implement any program or rules that directly regulates farming practices to protect water quality. The Agricultural Water Quality Management Program is the main regulatory tool to prevent and control nonpoint source pollution from agricultural lands. The area plans and rules are reviewed every two years for each management area.
Area plans identify strategies to prevent and control water pollution from agricultural lands through a combination of outreach programs, suggested land treatments, management activities, compliance, and monitoring. The area plan is neither regulatory nor enforceable, and the provisions of the area plan do not establish legal requirements or prohibitions (ORS 568.912(1)). Each area plan is accompanied by area rules that describe local agricultural water quality regulatory requirements. ODA will exercise its regulatory authority for the prevention and control of water pollution from agricultural activities under the Ag Water Quality Program’s general regulations (OAR 603-090- 0000 to 603-090-0120) and under the Area Rules for the Umatilla Management Area (OAR 603-095-3200).
Learn more in the Memorandum of Agreement between ODA and DEQ.